Michele Bachmann hates history

I thought it was pretty terrible when I heard about this historical rewriting.

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives. The pardon was for Patrick Murphy, a Civil War soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion.

Lowry admitted to changing the date of Murphy’s pardon, written in Lincoln’s hand, from April 14, 1864, to April 14, 1865, the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. Having changed the year from 1864 to 1865, Lowry was then able to claim that this pardon was of significant historical relevance because it could be considered one of, if not the final official act by President Lincoln before his assassination.

This is unfortunate. All that makes this any less lamentable is the fact that at least we know the true history of the document and it can no longer have an effect on us.

Too bad that isn’t the case with Michele Bachmann. (Embedding is disabled and WordPress hates embedding CNN videos directly.) She apparently thinks the founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery.

The Tea Party fave said that “the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States….Men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.”

First, John Quincy Adams was not a founding father. Second, no founding father worked tirelessly to end slavery. The one who did the most was Jefferson when he ended the slave trade, but he certainly did not work without tire in order to end the practice all together. Third, virtually all the founding fathers owned black people. Fourth, in case Bachmann or a Bachmann supporter is reading this, let me spell it out: those black people? They were slaves.

Bachmann is said to be looking at a presidential run. As awful as it would be to have such a goof as president, I can’t deny I have a little morbid curiosity. Throw in Sarah Palin and, well, wouldn’t it at least be interesting?

7 Responses

  1. I would say that as much was done as could have been done by the founders.

    Any attempt to end it all together would surely not have been accepted by the states and at best would have left a bunch of fractured alliances between small republics instead of the federation of small republics that endures to this day.

    Had they met the definition of tirelessly we likely would not have a state of the union address at all tonight. Many of them did as much as they could given the attitude of the day and the goal was to build a nation not free the slaves after all.

    As far as John Quincy Adams, his father was a founding father, speech writers are not perfect. I don’t find that much of a big deal.

  2. She builds herself up as a big history buff on the founding of the country. To get as many things as dramatically wrong as she did speaks volumes to the emptiness of her rhetoric.

  3. I’m sorry, are there politicians with ‘full’ rhetoric? :)

    Another thought on my previous comments not that its necessary.

    If they had sought to abolish slavery at the time and almost surely ended up fractured there could well be slavery in this country in the present day, or at least much closer to the present day than the civil war.

    After all there is still slavery in the world.

    As far as the founding fathers owning slaves, almost everyone did. It was a convention of the day and well accepted and probably required for the country to flourish as it did. It was much less of an evil.

    We can’t judge them too harshly for it. There may well be a day 150 years from now where free speech may be considered too dangerous to be allowed. People might look back on the evil days in the beginning of the 21st century where bloggers ran free, a danger to all society.

    Free speech is the most dangerous right we possess as individuals, far behind the right to bear arms. Speech can incite violence and unrest, where arms can only facilitate it.

    It’s not unreasonable to think that in the future it might be seen as a terrible evil to be able to say what you want in a public forum.

    It’s all in the perspective of hindsight. How mighty we are for having it.

  4. Bachmann is a typical of the class of congress people recently elected who call themselves tea party members even though she was elected previously. Her ignorance coupled with her arrogance plus her spewings of god-wants-this garters is today’s right wing of the Republican party.

    I laugh at the previous comments that try to divert and obfuscate the discussion to something else. The old “can’t refute, so change the topic” tactic. LOL

  5. Notify

  6. I’m not a big Bachman fan, what do I care? I don’t have the slightest interest in refutation.

    I don’t want to see her burned as a political witch like many of you but I don’t have any posters up anywhere either.

  7. Thomas Jefferson stopped the slave trade because Britain made it illegal. Great Britain became the international slave trading police and threated confiscation of any boat that held kidnapped slaves. Thomas Jefferson didn’t have much of a choice. Certainly he was not willing to risk an incident with Britain which could provoke another open war.

    Also, by the early 19th century, slaves were cheaper to buy domestically. The Chesapeake region, in particular, became the heart of slave “domestication” and sale. Cost, availability, and foreign pressures caused Jefferson to back away from the slave trade. Sadly, it wasn’t an ethical decision for Jefferson – it was a measured and pragmatic political decision.

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